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This project is about creating a set of typographic postcards made with used keyboard keys.
This project is about creating a set of typographic postcards made with used keyboard keys.
This project is about creating a set of typographic postcards made with used keyboard keys.
213 backers pledged €3,398 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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€3,398

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Hi, my name is Harald and I like to spread typographic postcards around the world.

I already produced a set of 15 cards. Now I like to add more cards to the collection, and that's why I am here on Kickstarter. 300€ are needed to produce an additional card.

But I am not going to stop there…

…every time the campaign reaches multiples of the funding goal (600, 900, 1200…) I will add a new card to the set. So far we reached these Stretchgoals:

  • ✓ Campaign goal 300€ (All backers receive 15 + 1 = 16 Cards)
  • ✓ Stretchgoal #1 600€ (All backers receive 15 + 2 = 17 Cards)
  • ✓ Stretchgoal #2 900€ (All backers receive 15 + 3 = 18 Cards)
  • ✓ Stretchgoal #3 1200€ (All backers receive 15 + 4 = 19 Cards)
  • ✓ Stretchgoal #4 1500€ (All backers receive 15 + 5 = 20 Cards)
  • ✓ Stretchgoal #5 1800€ (All backers receive 15 + 6 = 21 Cards)
  • ✓ Stretchgoal #6 2100€ (All backers receive 15 + 7 = 22 Cards)
  • Stretchgoal #7 2400€ (All backers receive 15 + 8 = 23 Cards)
  • ✓ Stretchgoal #8 2700€ (All backers receive 15 + 9 = 24 Cards)
  • Stretchgoal #9 3000€ (All backers receive 15 + 10 = 25 Cards)
  • ✓ EXTRA Stretchgoal 200 Backers (All backers receive extra stickers)
  • ✓ Stretchgoal #10 3300€ (All backers receive 15 + 11 = 26 Cards)
  • …and so on…

Yes! The more people back this project, the more postcards everyone will receive. Tell friends, family and colleagues about this project and share the project with your social network.

Here are some of the new designs that I am thinking about:

XOXO the shortest way to send kisses and hugs
XOXO the shortest way to send kisses and hugs

 You've done something great…

…a card that can be send from everywhere.
…a card that can be send from everywhere.

 Kickstarter is basically…

Pledge 15€ to receive the complete set including free worldwide shipping.

By the way, this is my (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) 7th Typography project on Kickstarter.

How did it all start?

The first THANK YOU Card was printed in 2012. I wanted a simple card to give to friends.

The design is inspired by the annual Typographic Wall Calendar which I produce since 2009. The card was well received, so I designed a HAPPY NEW YEAR's card. 

 As a friend of mine went to hospital I felt the need for an original GET WELL card.

With the next birthday coming up, I thought how great it would be to have a typographic birthday card, which eventually became this simple CAKE on pink background card:

To me, a postcard is an everyday object, that I relate to writing and holidays. Even though I find myself receiving less and less handwritten letters, on every vacation spot, every Museum store and every train station one will find postcards. I imagined how my own postcard would look like and played with the thought of receiving a card which simply features the words "New York", "Rome", or "Mountain view". These thoughts eventually led to the…

Postcards and Keyboards

Honestly, I was never a big fan of postcards. To me they seemed like the little brother of the letter. I thought if you want to write, then write a letter. Sometimes I think that the contemporary form of a postcard is posting a holiday picture on Facebook. With the possibility to send SMS, email and post to social networks from everywhere, the usability of a postcard seems questionable. But maybe its charm and value is in the postcard's casualty and non-urgent character.

 As a typographer I am interested in the disappearing of handwriting or its suppression by the typewriter. The forward march of the typewriter has been going on for quite a while. Measured by it's invention (around 1714) it took over the quarter of a millennium. The end of handwriting looms, but the threat is out of sight. Working with used keyboard keys as a motif on postcards seems to tie the two opposites of digital communication and handwriting. A closer look turns the situation on it's head. The postcard is an invention made in the late 19th century, therefor was introduced about 150 years after the typewriter.

Photography

The image on this postcard renders the object at its actual size. The background of the first THANK YOU card is a cutting mate with a 5mm grid to revise the scale of the depicted. A photo can be enlarged or shrunk to any size. Rendering the depicted in actual size makes it easier for the viewer to relate to its original size.

The pictures are taken from above with a special reproduction lens to reduce distortion. Shadow and Perspective are two compositional tools for the photographer. I try to hide the fact that the picture is taken with a camera. First I try to take as much distance from the object as possible, this way all sides of each key are visible. The outcome is a picture with little to no visible perspective. With evenly lighting I remove shadows. By making the picture seem as neutral as possible, I hope that the viewer rather refers to the work as a picture than a photograph. This picture without photographic effects allows to look at the writing tool rather than a photo of a keyboard. The keys appear as neatly and orderly on display like butterflies in a natural museum.

When is the last time you looked at you keyboard? The keyboard itself is about to disappear, less and less phones are produced with real keypads. The touch screen succeeds the keyboard. On a touch screen, the only thing that reminds the user of an original keyboard is its image. I assume that this likeness will be replaced by speech recognition software. One could say: the future is not written but dictated.

Do you remember the first time you read the sentence "Sent from my iPhone"?

The Card SENT FROM MY PHONE plays with the poetic sentence every iPhone politely and out of the box attaches to every email. After a short research in my mail archive I found out that I received the first mail from a phone on December 11 in 2008. I really do find something poetic in that sentence. At the time it sounded promising like a trailer of a long expected film. The idea of sending a mail from a phone would have been laughable before the introduction of the Apple product in 2007. On one hand the sentence hints that the receiver owns an expensive phone, on the other hand it points to the situation that the mail was written on the go. Writer Harris Wittels introduced with "Humblebrag" a matching term to describe the conflict between a frank statement and a show-off. In the Huffington Post Bianca Poster explains why she includes the "Sent from my iPhone" even when it is not "…purely to get out of writing a lengthy, detailed response". SENT FROM MY PHONE shows a change that we witness but that we haven't found the right words for.

Typographic Detail : The card is set in original Apple keyboard keys made between 1989 to 1992 in Ireland. It is easy to spot Apple keys from their typography. The letters are positioned in the lower left and not on the upper left like most PC keyboards. Instead of an extended upright type with a rather static appeal, the typeface used here is condensed and cursive which gives the keys a fast look.

YES NO MAYBE reminds me of the little notes I used to write in high school. A slip of paper was folded and then under extreme caution given from hand to hand and table to table. The content of the note always stayed secret, but everybody knew who was communicating how much and with whom. Only now it seems much easier to pass the writing in the break, but I guess it was more about the jeopardy to get caught and the urge to tell everybody that one has a secret.

A strange time and when I think of it a feeling of nostalgia hits me. Long ago the handwritten folded note was replaced by the SMS and online chats. I asked students and teachers and they told me that until a certain age the notes are still exchanged in that way. But I would never like to sit in a room in which another persons forbids to write notes on paper. On the other Hand I do not want to be in a room in which others write notes and covertly share them.

FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET is inspired by the famous country song "I forgot to remember to forget" by Elvis Presley performed in 1955.

The SATOR Square is a latin Palindrome. The keys read the same forwards and backwards, from bottom to top and in reverse. As a result the SATOR Square evokes a calming sense of order and complete symmetry. The earliest datable square was found in the ruins of Pompeii that was buried in the ash of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 almost 2000 years ago.

When something goes wrong and… 

…seems to be the hardest word.

Conclusion

As cultural icons for manual(handwritten) and digital writing, both postcard and keyboard are about to disappear. Tactile keyboards are about to be replaced by touch screens and voice recognition just like the typewriter was meant to replace handwriting. There is no clear winner and maybe technology is not about winning. The charm of this unequal couple is in its opposition. I imagine them as two intertwined actors who are about to leave the stage, playfully teasing each other while heading for the exit.

How will the funding be used?

Most of the funding goes to printing and shipping the cards, a bit to taxes and little bit into my tummy and a tiny bit to fees.

  • 8-10% Kickstarter & Payment processing fees
  • 19% German VAT :-( (only for EU-pledges :-) )
  • 27% Printing costs
  • 27% Shipping costs
  • 17-19% (2,65€) Artist buys food and pays rent. 

Details about the Print

  • Size: 12cm x 17.5cm
  • Material: 265gr cardboard
  • Printed in Germany
  • Printing: offset with UV sealing
  • Item ships from Frankfurt am Main, Germany to any location in the world
  • worldwide shipping is included.

The backside of the cards are easy to write on with pen, biro, pencil or marker.

The text on the back is written in English and German, it says the title of the card for example WRITING followed by a short description "The image on this postcard renders the object at its actual size. This postcard was printed 201(X) in Germany. The print run of this edition is one thousand, twenty cards are signed and numbered. This card is part of a series of (X) postcards. Find out more about Harald and visit his website: HARALDGEISLER.COM/POSTCARDS" Then followed by the same information follows in German. The English text is set in Helvetica, the German text in Times.

I am not a fan of address - lines, since everybody should be free to use the card horizontally, vertically or diagonally. I am thinking about printing the text in a more subtle color (gray).

Here the back side with size references:

Thank you for…

Risks and challenges

Every artistic project bears risks. Every project is new and brings up unforeseeable risks and challenges both technically and artistically. I have published four comparable projects (Typographic Wall Calendar 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014) so I know about the artistic and technical pitfalls to avoid. The research and preparation that I already made for this project, assures me that I am able of complete this project within the projected timeframe.

Thank you for your support.

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